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Kim Clijsters to make long-heralded comeback at WTA tournament in Dubai

Nearly eight years after retiring, Kim Clijsters says she will make her long-heralded return to tennis at the WTA tournament in Dubai later this month.

In September, the 36-year-old Clijsters announced she was ending her retirement and coming back to tennis. She had hoped to play at the recent Australian Open but that plan was scuppered by a knee injury.

“I’m accepting a wild card to play the @DDFTennis,” tweeted the 36-year-old Belgian on Sunday.

“Since announcing my return, there have been a few bumps but looking forward to returning to the match court and what this next chapter brings … Thanks to all my fans for their encouragement these past weeks. See you in Dubai!”

She last played competitive matches when she was 29 at the 2012 US Open. Following her retirement then, the Belgian was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame as a member of the class of 2017.

This will be Clijsters’ second comeback to the sport.

She first made a successful return to the WTA in 2009, winning three of her four major titles — the US Open in 2009 and 2010 and the Australian Open in 2011 — after losing her first four grand slam finals.

With her US Open win in 2009, Clijsters became the third WTA player to win a major after giving birth, following Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong. She returned to the No. 1 spot in the world on February 14, 2011.

Clijsters made her WTA debut age 15 at Antwerp in 1999. She won her first major in 2005 at the US Open. In May 2007, she stepped away from the sport, marrying US basketball player Brian Lynch and giving birth to her daughter Jada in 2008. She also has two sons, Jack (born in 2013) and Blake (born in 2016).

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Clijsters owns 41 career singles titles and 11 career doubles titles. As a former world No. 1 and grand slam champion, Clijsters will have access to unlimited wild cards.

On Monday, Clijsters tweeted pictures of herself attendng a training session of the Belgian tennis national team in preparation for their Fed Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan.

READ: Sofia Kenin wins first grand slam title

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships starts on February 17.

CNN